Just a little under 2 years since their debut album Never Happily, Ever After was released, UK’s As It Is is back and, this time, they’ve decided to get a bit more personal. Their upcoming sophomore album okay. conveys a message that “it’s okay not to be okay.” This meaning that everyone goes through tough times in life, you’re never alone in this and they’re here to tell their story, in hopes that it will help out the listeners out there who feel like they can’t go on. This track sees vocalist Patty Walters opening up, wearing his heart on his sleeve and being more vulnerable than ever.
From the light, acoustic opening guitar melody of “Pretty Little Distance,” it’s clear that the band has matured in their songwriting and composition. Walters begins by saying how “swell” life looks from a distance but, on the inside, we’re all fighting battles of our own. It wastes no time in kicking into gear, musically, with drummer Patrick Foley and guitarists Andy Westhead and Benjamin Langford-Biss starting off by providing an almost “stomp-clap” sound, making for a very fun listen. The guitar harmonies kick in shortly after and drum beats are given room to breathe, giving them a huge sound.
One of my favorite parts on the album is the main riff that drives the track “Hey Rachel.” It sounds like there was possibly a wah pedal used to create a fade in/out effect on this riff and it sounds fun and bouncy. The track itself is about how Walters left his sister’s side when she needed him the most. He admits that he was scared, selfish and a terrible brother and that he realizes now, how horrible that was looking back on it all.
The album has a climax effect toward the end of “No Way Out,” a fast-paced track that sees Walters and Langford-Biss going back and forth vocally, making it instantly stand out from others on the album. Walters has a spoken part that builds into him screaming in angst about feeling like he was stuck where he was in his life, fucked up and far from who he wanted to be. This part has always given me chills, from the first listen to now and I don’t think that’s going to change. They took a more alternative rock direction with “Soap,” taking that angst from the track preceding it to a whole new level. There is almost a whimsical feel to the way this track is presented musically but the lyrics pierce the heart like a knife.
The final track “Still Remembering” closes the album in a beautiful way. An acoustic track that sees nothing but raw emotion, a melancholic and nostalgic background and lyrics about remembering the way things used to be, about being young, in love and having the world ahead of you. Walters poses the question “What hurts more, is it remembering or forgetting?” For anyone who is going through a break-up or anyone who is easily prone to thinking about a past love, this track is going to instantly resonate with you.
Material like what was written for okay. is going to quickly see As It Is rise to the forefront of the pop-punk genre. If they’re not already a household name, it won’t be much longer. Vulnerability, insecurity and an open heart suit this band well as they begin to shape their sound, experimenting with different elements and finding what works. Be sure to pick up your copy of okay. on Fearless Records, January 20th! Pre-orders can be picked up at the links below, as well as the most recently released track, “No Way Out.”
“No Way Out” (Official Audio)
“Pretty Little Distance” (Official Music Video)
As It Is are:
Patty Walters – Vocals
Andy Westhead – Guitar
Benjamin Langford-Biss – Guitar/Vocals
Patrick Foley – Drums
Ali Tiesto – Bass